Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (11 & 12 December 2019)

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Date of Auction: 11th & 12th December 2019

Sold for £4,000

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A fine Great War C.M.G and Boer War D.S.O. group of nine awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel A. J. King, Royal Lancaster Regiment, late Camel Corps, Egyptian Army. A man of action who had several horses shot from underneath him, and aside from his gallantry award was mentioned in despatches on 9 separate occasions - and in all 3 of the wars that he was engaged in

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, C.M.G., Companion’s neck badge converted from a breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel; Distinguished Service Order, V.R., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top riband bar; Queen’s Sudan 1896-98 (Capt. A. J. King. Cam. Cps. E.A.); Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Relief of Mafeking, Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Wittebergen, South Africa 1901 (Major. A. J. King. R. Lanc: Rgt.) top lugs neatly removed; 1914 Star (Lt: Col: A. J. King. D.S.O.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. Oak Leaves (Lt. Col. A. J. King.); Turkey, Order of Medjidie, 4th Class breast badge, silver, gold and enamel; Khedive’s Sudan 1896-1908, 5 clasps, Firket, Hafir, Sudan 1897, The Atbara, Khartoum (Capt. King [sic] King’s Own.) medals mounted for display, minor enamel damage, good very fine (9 £4,000-£5,000


Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, September 2010.

C.M.G. London Gazette 1 January 1918.

D.S.O. London Gazette 19 April 1901.

M.I.D. (9) London Gazette 3 November 1896; 24 May 1898; 3 September 1898; 2 December 1899; 23 March 1900; 8 February 1901; 21 June 1916; 25 September 1916; 21 January 1918.

Alexander James King was born on 15 July 1863, the only son of the Rev. Edward King, B.A., F.R.H.S., F.S.A. Scot. He was educated at Radley College and entered the British Army from the Militia on 12 November 1884, joining the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. His first overseas posting was to India, December 1888-May 1892, after which he returned to England, being promoted to Captain in July 1892.

His first taste of active service was with the Camel Corps of the Egyptian Army, which service he joined in October 1894, holding the local rank of Bimbashi. During his 4 years service with the Camel Corps, he participated in all of the major actions during the reconquest of the Sudan 1896-98, including the Dongola Expedition and the battles of Firket and Hafir (Despatches); the Nile Expedition of 1897 (Despatches); Omdurman Expedition including service with the flying column and cavalry reconnaissance 21 March 1898, and at the battles of Atbara and Omdurman (Despatches). In addition to his three mentions in despatches, Alexander King was awarded the 4th class Order of the Medijide, and given the brevet of Major (London Gazette 16 November 1898) in respect of his services in the Sudan.

Brevet Major King served in the United Kingdom from October 1898 to May 1899. On the 19th January 1899 a dinner was held in honour of Major-General Archibald Hunter, in recognition of his services in the Sudan, by the Officers of the 2nd Battalion (The Royal Lancaster Regiment) at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, where the Regiment was then stationed.

‘The Mess was brilliantly illuminated and decorated with Egyptian Colours and the Menu cards on the table were held by miniature Dervishes. Brevet Major A. J. King who had recently returned from the Sudan lent a large number of Dervish Dresses, Lances, Spears, Shields and Drums which he had brought home with him.’

He was then posted to India again, where he remained until October 1899. During this time he was appointed A.D.C. to Sir Archibald Hunter, K.C.B., D.S.O. With Hunter he was then posted to South Africa where Hunter was appointed Lieutenant-General White’s Chief of Staff at the siege of Ladysmith.

Following the lifting of the siege of Ladysmith, King was posted as D.A.A.G., March-April 1900. He then rejoined Hunter in operations leading to the relief of Mafeking, being appointed 'Commandant' with the local rank of 'Lieutenant-Colonel' and placed in command of the Kimberley Mounted Corps in the Mafeking Relief Force, 27 April-7 June 1900. As Commandant of the Kimberly Mounted Corps, Major King rode 250 miles and fought in two actions en-route with the Mafeking Relief Column.

Between 1899-1901, Brevet-Major King participated in the following battles and actions in South Africa; engagement at Rietfontein and Lombard Kop, (horse shot under him); defence of Ladysmith including; the cavalry action, 3 November 1899; night sortie on Gun Hill, 8 November 1899 (Despatches); attack on Wagon Hill and Caesars Camp, 6 January 1900; relief of Mafeking (flying column), and action at Koodos Rand (Despatches). Operations in Transvaal and Orange River Colony including; Reteifs Nek, Wittebergen (Prinsloo’s Surrender); Ventersburg (horse shot under him and Despatches).

Brevet-Major King returned to the United Kingdom in May 1901, as A.D.C. to Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald Hunter who was then General Officer Commanding Scotland District. Major King was decorated with the D.S.O. by the King Emperor, Edward VII, at St, James’s Place on 3 June 1901, and later from the same royal hands he received his Queens South Africa Medal with five clasps at a presentation held at Horse Guards Parade on 12 June 1901.

In June 1903, Brevet-Major King took up the appointment as Assistant Commandant Mounted Infantry, 2nd Army Corps. Promoted Major in January 1904, he retired from the British Army in 1906 (appointed to the Reserve of Officers), on inheriting the family estate at Kinellar, Aberdeenshire. He continued however to take an interest in military matters being appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry in August 1907.

During the Great War, Lieutenant-Colonel King served in several theatres of war with the Remounts Service, including France/Flanders, 1 November 1914-15 September 1915, where he was in command of the remount depot at Rouen, Egypt and Palestine, 16 September 1915-5 September 1918. Additionally he held the appointment of Commandant Remount Depot, Abassia, and at some time while serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force saw service in Cyprus, where he had been recognised as an authority on horse-breeding - having himself been an expert horseman since early in his life. For his wartime services he was three times mentioned in despatches and awarded the C.M.G.

Lieutenant-Colonel King, C.M.G., D.S.O., J.P., D.L., died on the family estate at Tertowie House, Kinellar Estate, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 12 July 1943. With a wealth of copied papers and photographs.